2020 coronavirus pandemic in Hong Kong

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2020 coronavirus pandemic in Hong Kong
COVID-19 Outbreak Cases in Hong Kong.svg
Map of districts with confirmed (red) coronavirus cases (as of 7 March)
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationHong Kong
First outbreakWuhan, Hubei, China
Arrival date23 January 2020
(2 months, 1 week and 5 days)
Confirmed cases846[1]
Suspected cases1
Official website
Suspected cases have not been confirmed as being due to this strain by laboratory tests, although some other strains may have been ruled out.

The first confirmed case of the global pandemic of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the territory of Hong Kong was announced on 23 January 2020. As of 3 April 2020, Hong Kong has 846 confirmed cases.


COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong  ()
     Deaths        Recoveries        Active cases

Jan Jan Feb Feb Mar Mar Apr Apr Last 15 days Last 15 days

# of cases
Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health


On 8 January, Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection (CHP) added "Severe respiratory disease associated with a novel infectious agent" to their list of notifiable diseases to expand their authority on quarantine.[3] The Hong Kong government also shortened hospital visits and made it a requirement for visitors to wear face masks. Screening was tightened at airports and train stations with connections to Wuhan.[4] In the first week of 2020, 30 unwell travellers from Wuhan were tested. Most had other respiratory viruses.[5][6]

On 22 January, a man from Mainland China, aged 39, who travelled from Shenzhen and arrived in Hong Kong by high-speed rail developed symptoms of pneumonia. He lived in Wuhan and he had arrived in Shenzhen by highspeed rail with his family. He tested positive for the virus and was hospitalised in Princess Margaret Hospital, Kowloon. The same day, a 56-year-old man from Ma On Shan, who had visited Wuhan in the previous week, also tested positive. These two cases were listed as "Highly Suspected Cases", as they would have to go through another round of testing before they are declared as "Confirmed Cases".[7][8][9]

On 23 January, The Hong Kong government designated the Lady MacLehose Holiday Village in Sai Kung as a quarantine centre.[10] The Hong Kong Tourism Board cancelled the Lunar New Year Cup and a four-day Lunar New Year carnival, citing concerns over the virus outbreak.[11][12] In addition, the previous two cases of "Highly Suspected Cases" had been confirmed as "Confirmed Cases" by health and government officials.[citation needed]

On 24 January, health authorities confirmed three more cases, all of the patients had came from Wuhan to Hong Kong. The third case was a 62-year-old woman that had arrived to Hong Kong with her husband. They had both moved in with their daughter and son in law on 19 January, who lived in Hong Kong. Her husband, daughter and son in law had not developed symptoms and were both transferred to the Lady MacLehose Holiday Village for quarantine. The 4th and 5th cases consisted of a 62-year-old woman and his husband, a 63-year-old man. They had both arrived in Hong Kong on 22 January and had moved in to their daughter's house, similar to the 3rd case. The woman and man had attempted to escape from Prince Whales Hospital after learning that they would have to be quarantined, but failed when the hospital called in the police.[13]

On 25 January, the Hong Kong government declared the viral outbreak as an "emergency", the highest warning tier.[14] The city's largest amusement parks, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Ocean Park Hong Kong, and Madame Tussauds Hong Kong closed from 26 January, until further notice.[15]

On 26 January, three more cases had been identified. The 6th case consisted of a 47-year-old man who lived in North Point, Hong Kong Island. He had previously worked at a wet market in Wuhan for a few weeks before returning to Hong Kong. He had also been bitten by a wild dog in Wuhan. The 7th case was a 68-year-old woman that had a Hong Kong passport, but lived in Shenzhen, China. She had developed a fever and cough on 21 January, and was sent to North District Hospital when she presented symptoms while arriving at the Shenzhen-Hong Kong (Luo-hu) border on 25 January. She had also previously visited Wuhan in the same month. The 8th case was the husband (Age 64) of the 3rd case in Hong Kong. He had developed a fever on the night of 25 January during quarantine, and was immediately sent to hospital to be tested for the coronavirus. The result came out positive. A newly built housing block in Fanling in Hong Kong's New Territories, that was planned to be used as a quarantine facility for people who may have been exposed to Wuhan coronavirus, was fire-bombed. Dozens of residents and protesters opposed to the idea held rallies outside the complex. Some set up roadblocks and in the evening assailants set the place on fire.[16]

On 28 January, Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam stated the high-speed rail service between Hong Kong and mainland China would be suspended starting on 30 January, and all cross-border ferry services would also be suspended in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.[17] Additionally, flights from mainland China would be cut in half, cross-border bus services reduced, and the Hong Kong government is asking all its employees (except those providing essential/emergency services) to work from home. In a later press conference that day, Carrie Lam said that the Man Kam To and Sha Tau Kok border checkpoints would be closed.[18]

On 29 January, two connected cases had been confirmed by health officials, raising the number of confirmed cases to 10. The 9th and 10th cases consisted of a husband (Age 72) and wife (Age 73), both from Wuhan, China and in their 70s. Both had arrived to Hong Kong by the airline Cathay Dragon (Airline KA853) on January 22, and checked into the W Hotel in West Kowloon on the same day. They had visited multiple restaurants at the hotel and the Elements mall. They had also visited the Ritz Carlton and also Four Seasons Hotel on 28 January. During their visit to Four Seasons Hotel, the staff had sensed that both visitors had high temperatures and a consistent cough. Therefore, the staff called an ambulance for help and both of them were transferred to Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong Island. After testing twice, the results showed that both of them had contracted the coronavirus. The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) announced that all facilities overseen by the department including all public museums, public libraries and sports centres and venues will be closed until further notice as a health precaution.[19] On 14 February, the LCSD announced that the closure of its facilities will extended until 2 March 2020.[20]

On 30 January, two individual cases of coronavirus had been confirmed, raising the count to 12. The 11th case was a 39-year-old woman who lived and worked in Hong Kong, also the daughter of the 9th and 10th (Husband and Wife from Wuhan) cases. She had previously also stayed with them at the W Hotel in West Kowloon, and also visited the places they went in Hong Kong. She had developed symptoms on 28 January, after sending her parents to hospital. After learning that her parents had contracted COVID-19, she visited the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and was confirmed to have the virus after tests on 30 January. This was the first case in Hong Kong of which the patient did not visit Wuhan/Mainland China during the previous month. The 12th patient was a 75-year-old man who lived in Tsing Yi, Kowloon. He had visited the Guangdong province in China during late December till early January. He had also visited Macau for several days in mid-January. He developed coughing symptoms on January 22 and was hospitalised in a regular hospital room at the Queen Margaret Hospital, he was not tested as he did not inform the doctors that he had been to Macau and Mainland China in the previous month. On January 30 his conditions worsened and he was tested for the coronavirus, and the result came out positive.[citation needed]

On 31 January, one case of COVID-19 had been confirmed. The patient was a Hong Kong 39-year-old (13th case) with diabetes, who lived in Whampoa, Kowloon. He had came back from Wuhan in the previous week, and developed muscle pain on 29 January. He developed a cough and fever on 31 January, and was confirmed to have the coronavirus. Afterwards, his family were transferred to a quarantine camp.[citation needed]


On 4 February, the CHP reported Hong Kong's first death, that of a 39-year-old patient, the 13th case.[21]

On 5 February, Hong Kong confirmed three more cases.[22] Another three were confirmed on 6 February,[23] with another two cases on 7 February.[24]

On 9 February, Hong Kong confirmed three more cases with two from the same family, bringing the total number to 29.[25] It was also announced on the same day that the passengers and crew of the World Dream cruise ship were allowed to leave after a check revealed that they were negative for the coronavirus and have no history of being in close contact with eight passengers who disembarked and were found to be positive for the virus.[26]

On 17 February, the CHP had identified 60 cases in Hong Kong with two patients since recovered.[27][28]

On 19 February, a 70-year-old man with underlying illnesses became the second death in Hong Kong.[29]

As of 24 February, a total of 81 cases were identified.[30]


Street in Hong Kong during the COVID-19 pandemic

As of 2 March, Hong Kong had reached 100 confirmed cases. Two new cases were confirmed that day which include a brother of a COVID-19 patient and a woman from the Diamond Princess cruise ship. An 88-year-old man living at a care home in Shau Kei Wan had tested "weak positive" for the virus the same day, further tests would be done to test whether he was infected.[31]

On 19 March, Joel Werner, chief investment officer at Solitude Capital Management, was identified on a video intended for friends which became viral. In the video, he was seen to be licking his hands and then wiping on a train handle in Hong Kong's MTR.[32]

On 20 March, Hong Kong recorded 48 new coronavirus infections on Friday, the biggest daily tally since testing began and reached 256 confirmed cases.[33]

On 25 March, Hong Kong closed its border to all incoming nonresidents arriving from overseas. Transiting through Hong Kong is no longer allowed either. All returning residents, regardless of point of departure, are subject to the Compulsory Quarantine Order, which requires all to stay at a reported quarantine premise (either home or hotel) for 14 days. Tracking devices are employed to enforce the order. All returning residents from the United States, the UK, and continental Europe are required to go through enhanced screening and submit saliva sample for COVID-19 testing.[34]


On 1 April, the Hong Kong government announced the temporary closure of karaoke lounges, nightclubs and mahjong premises. Confusion over the government's listing of venues to be temporarily closed led the public to believe that other venues such as beauty parlors, massage parlors and clubhouses would have to be closed as well. However the government clarified that such establishments would be allowed to remain open subject to businesses providing hand sanitizer to customers, as well as requiring customers to wear a mask and have their temperature taken while inside the business venue.[35]


Ruled out cases: 5,671
Cases in hospital for investigation: 141
Confirmed cases: 846
Probable cases: 1

Asymptomatic cases: 115 (14.3% of confirmed cases)
Average time from date of onset to confirm: ~5.5 days

Cases by age groups and gender

No. of cases up to 2 April
Hospitalised Discharged Deceased Calculated
Ages Male Female Male Female Male Female Total Percentage
0 to 20 83 57 1 5 146 18.2%
21 to 30 76 78 13 11 178 22.2%
31 to 40 77 59 12 13 1 162 20.2%
41 to 50 45 32 11 9 97 12.1%
51 to 60 39 32 17 17 105 13.1%
61 to 70 29 19 11 19 1 79 9.8%
above 70 6 13 8 7 1 1 36 4.5%

Cases by area and hospitals

No. of cases up to 2 April
Hospital Hospitalised Discharged Deceased
Island East
Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital 68 22 1
Ruttonjee Hospital 27 24
Island West
Queen Mary Hospital 62 31
Kowloon Central
Queen Elizabeth Hospital 66 12
Kwong Wah Hospital 14 1
Kowloon East
United Christian Hospital 74 13
Tseung Kwan O Hospital 23
Kowloon West
Princess Margaret Hospital 71 27 2
Caritas Medical Centre 17 2 1
Yan Chai Hospital 13
North Lantau Hospital 2
New Territories East
Prince of Wales Hospital 65 9
Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital 34 1
North District Hospital 23 5
New Territories West
Tuen Mun Hospital 79 7
Pok Oi Hospital 2


  Cases in hospital: 640
  Cases pending for admission: 5
  Discharged cases: 154
  Fatal cases: 4
  Imported cases: 437 (54.4% of confirmed cases)
  Local cases: 66 (8.2% of confirmed cases)
  Possibly local cases: 101 (12.6% of confirmed cases)
  Close contact of confirmed cases: 199 (24.8% of confirmed cases)


Queue to buy face masks in Hong Kong, January 30, 2020. Everybody in the line is already wearing a disposable mask.

Since the outbreak of the virus, a significant number of products have been sold out across the city, including face masks and disinfectant products (such as alcohol and bleach).[36] An ongoing period of panic buying has also caused many stores to be cleared of non-medical products such as bottled water, vegetables, and rice.[37] The Government of Hong Kong had its imports of face masks cancelled as global face mask stockpiles decline.[38]

In view of the coronavirus outbreak, the Education Bureau closed all kindergartens, primary schools, secondary schools, and special schools until 20 April.[39] The disruption has raised concerns over the situation of students who are due to take examinations at the end of the year, especially in light of the protest-related disruption that happened in 2019.[40]

On 5 February, flag carrier Cathay Pacific requested its 27,000 employees to voluntarily take three weeks of unpaid leave by the end of June. The airline had previously reduced flights to mainland China by 90% and overall flights by 30%.[41]

See also


  1. ^ a b HK Government COVID-19 Dashboard
  2. ^ a b Corona Tracker Overview
  3. ^ Siu, Phila (6 January 2020). "Hong Kong to add mystery Wuhan pneumonia to list of notifiable infectious diseases, giving authorities power to quarantine patients". South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on 14 January 2020. Retrieved 8 February 2020.
  4. ^ Leung, Hillary (6 January 2020). "What to Know About the Wuhan Pneumonia Oubreak". Time. Archived from the original on 8 January 2020. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  5. ^ Schnirring, Lisa (6 January 2020). "Questions still swirl over China's unexplained pneumonia outbreak". CIDRAP. Archived from the original on 6 January 2020. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  6. ^ Schnirring, Lisa (7 January 2020). "Nations step up screening and await word on China's pneumonia outbreak". CIDRAP. Archived from the original on 7 January 2020. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  7. ^ Cheung, Elizabeth (22 January 2020). "China coronavirus: death toll almost doubles in one day as Hong Kong reports its first two cases". South China Morning Post.
  8. ^ "Two more people in HK test positive for Wuhan virus". RTHK. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  9. ^ Scott, Neuman. "Health Officials in China Say 9 Dead From Newly Identified Coronavirus". NPR. Archived from the original on 22 January 2020. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  10. ^ "Visitor one of first to be quarantined over virus". RTHK. 23 January 2020.
  11. ^ "Lunar New Year carnival canceled". The Standard. 23 January 2020. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  12. ^ Chan, Kin-wa (23 January 2020). "Wuhan coronavirus: Lunar New Year Cup cancelled by government just hours after HKFA promotes the event". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  13. ^ "Fifth case of new coronavirus confirmed in HK". RTHK. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  14. ^ Chan, Kin-wa (25 January 2020). "Hong Kong declares Wuhan virus outbreak 'emergency' – the highest warning tier". Hong Kong Free Press. Archived from the original on 28 January 2020. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  15. ^ Chan, Thomas (26 January 2020). "China coronavirus forces temporary closure of Hong Kong Disneyland, Ocean Park for indefinite period". South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on 26 January 2020. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  16. ^ "China coronavirus: proposed Hong Kong quarantine building in Fanling gets fire-bombed". South China Morning Post. South China Morning Post. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  17. ^ Gayle (now), Damien; Rourke (earlier), Alison (28 January 2020). "Coronavirus: Germany confirms first human transmission in Europe – live updates". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 31 January 2020. Retrieved 28 January 2020.
  18. ^ "Railway closures, no visas: Hong Kong scrambles to fight mainland virus outbreak". South China Morning Post. 28 January 2020. Archived from the original on 28 January 2020. Retrieved 28 January 2020.
  19. ^ "Temporary closure of LCSD facilities from tomorrow". Leisure and Cultural Services Department. 28 January 2020. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  20. ^ "Latest arrangements on LCSD public services". Leisure and Cultural Services Department. 14 February 2020. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  21. ^ "Hong Kong reports first death from coronavirus". The Straits Times. 4 February 2020. Archived from the original on 4 February 2020. Retrieved 4 February 2020.
  22. ^ Cheung, Elizabeth (5 February 2020). "Coronavirus: three new cases in Hong Kong include wife and daughter of man who already has disease". South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on 5 February 2020. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  23. ^ Lum, Alvin; Cheung, Elizabeth (6 February 2020). "New confirmed coronavirus case in Hong Kong, as two more test positive". South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on 6 February 2020. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  24. ^ "Hong Kong imposes new quarantine rules over virus". BBC. 7 February 2020. Archived from the original on 8 February 2020. Retrieved 8 February 2020.
  25. ^ "Three more virus cases in HK, two in same family". RTHK. 9 February 2020. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  26. ^ "3,600 passengers, crew quarantined on cruise ship finally leave". South China Morning Post. 9 February 2020. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  27. ^ Lum, Alvin; Ting, Victor (17 February 2020). "Coronavirus: Hospital Authority reveals staff were at a meeting attended by two engineers who later tested positive, as Hong Kong confirms 60th case". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  28. ^ Sum, Lok-kei; Lum, Alvin; Chan, Ho-him (16 February 2020). "Coronavirus: husband and wife hospitalised after man becomes Hong Kong's 57th confirmed patient". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  29. ^ "Coronavirus: 70-year-old dies, bringing Hong Kong toll to two". Hong Kong Free Press. 19 February 2020. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  30. ^ "Coronavirus: two more Hong Kong evacuees from Diamond Princess cruise ship confirmed with infection, bringing city's total to 81". South China Morning Post. 24 February 2020. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  31. ^ "Hong Kong reaches 100 coronavirus cases as two more infections confirmed". South China Morning Post. 2 March 2020. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  32. ^ Westbrook, Laura (19 March 2020). "Hedge fund manager who made finger-licking MTR video under fire". South China Morning Post.
  33. ^ "Hong Kong reaches 256 coronavirus cases as 48 more infections confirmeddate=2020-03-20". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  34. ^ "Government announces enhancements to anti-epidemic measures in four aspectsdate=2020-03-24". The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  35. ^ "Karaokes, clubs, mahjong parlours ordered to close - RTHK".
  36. ^ "Hundreds queue for masks amid virus crisis, with some in line at 7 am". South China Morning Post. 29 January 2020. Archived from the original on 30 January 2020. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  37. ^ "Shelves cleared as coronavirus spread sparks Hong Kong panic buying". South China Morning Post. 29 January 2020. Archived from the original on 30 January 2020. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  38. ^ "Mask orders cancelled as Hongkongers face overseas supply issues amid virus". South China Morning Post. 31 January 2020. Archived from the original on 31 January 2020. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  39. ^ "Coronavirus: 'little, if any, possibility' Hong Kong schools resume fully on April 20, Lam says". SCMP. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  40. ^ "First protests, now virus: schools suspension could hurt those facing exams". South China Morning Post. 26 January 2020. Archived from the original on 3 February 2020. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  41. ^ Riley, Charles (5 February 2020). "Cathay Pacific asks workers to take 3 weeks off without pay as the coronavirus decimates travel". CNN. Archived from the original on 6 February 2020. Retrieved 7 February 2020.

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